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Survey shows climate change fight to have massive impact on air travel in 2020

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Chinese, Europeans and US citizens plan to fly less for holidays this year to limit aircraft carbon dioxide emissions and help prevent climate change.

File picture: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

Brussels – Most Chinese, Europeans and
US citizens plan to fly less for holidays this year to limit
aircraft carbon dioxide emissions and help prevent catastrophic
climate change, a survey by the European Investment Bank (EIB)
showed on Tuesday.

The EIB Climate Survey was based on 30,000 respondents from
Sept 27 to Oct 21, 2019 in the 28 countries of the European
Union and the United States and China.

In the poll, 36% of Europeans said they already flew less
for holidays to help prevent climate change and 75% intended to
do so in 2020. In China the number of people planning less air
travel for holidays this year was 94%, and 69% in the U.S.

The aviation industry accounts for over 2% of global
greenhouse gas emissions, and if left unchecked emissions are
expected to rise as passenger and flight numbers increase.

For Europeans and Chinese, climate change is the biggest
challenge they face, topping access to healthcare and the threat
of unemployment in the EU and access to healthcare and fear of a
financial crisis in China.

In the United States, climate change was seen as the second
biggest challenge after access to healthcare, and more important
than the third biggest threat — political instability.

Two thirds of people in Europe, the United States and China
think their individual behaviour can help tackle climate change
and more than three quarters of parents believe their children
will bear the consequences of climate change, the survey showed.

The survey also showed 93% of the Chinese were choosing
public transport over cars for environmental purposes. In Europe
the trend was 64% and in the United States 49%.

The survey of the EIB, the world’s biggest investment bank
which is owned by EU governments, said 81% of Americans, 93% of
Europeans and 98% of Chinese were willing to buy fewer plastic
products to reduce pollution. Also, 92% of Chinese and 79% of
Europeans are committed to cut down red meat consumption, the
poll showed, while only 68% of Americans were ready to do so. 

Reuters